Weekend hotness!


The weekend is here, and lo behold, even the sun has put in an appearance for us sun-starved Western Europeans.

Time to celebrate, and what better way to do so, then by rubbing one's body with some frangipani oil, some Nigella and a new gadget.

It's been some time since I sent the high priestess of Domestic Goddishness some love. Bad girl. Her appearance with some pink (!) glasses the other day means we can all feast our eyes on her some more.

Yesterday, by the way, I put in some cooking time with her steak slice with lemon and thyme (Nigella Express, p. 40, methinks). A definite thumbs up on that one. Not much planning required (buy good steak, ensure lemon is on hands and some thyme growing in a window box) and you are already past the half-way mark in the daily 'what can I razzle up fast' race. Top it off with some excellent Italian olive oil, imported by sibling last month from some obscure organic farm in northern Italy and you have a winner. Sides? If you are not an absolute carnivore like myself, then feel free to steam some broccolini or sugar snaps or any other green crunchy vegetable that takes your fancy.

On that satisfying note, I worked on getting the latest gadget in this household to work.

As you can tell from the state of my hair, it took me a while. But now that it's up and running, holy mackerel, why did nobody invent this phone sooner?

I balked at the price of the new iPhone and waited for quite some time before buying it. But I was fedup of having to rush home after frantic calls for answers from clients on a deadline, meaning the munchkin had to be yanked away from more pleasurable activities under loud and tearful protests. Now I can sit in the park, play with the babe, check my mail and read word docs on a decent-sized screen. I could even update my blog, if I wanted to. And I get to listen to cool music at the gym, like Barry White. Hmmm, then again, maybe not, since the torturemeister has vowed to have me bingeing on cardio for quite a while...

So from Monday, it's school for the munchkin, fast-forward work for myself, and considerably more time at the gym than I would have ever dreamt was possible. It's all in a working mum's day's work.

Current mood: that kind of mood


There's a transvestite inside of me just waiting to get out. I knew it the minute I saw this movie.

--- Note the ever delightful Marisa Paredes, a dead ringer for my gorgeous gallery.

The end of an era in childhood


The munchkin has dumped the stabilisers and can now bike independently. All in one afternoon.
My little girl is growing in front of me.

Only a few more weeks and she will be four!

Just to reminisce: this was the past.

Reunion - Class of '88


During my holidays I received a mail from one of my former classmates during secondary school. Apparently, a reunion is in the making for the class of '88 (yes, that is how ancient I am). Now, last time they convened this merry fest, I was out in hospital having some ill-functioning valve in my body tucked back and so I missed out on the event of the year.

This time around, there should not be any complications. Except... that I don't want to go.
I have not seen most of these people since my university days and even then, I made sure to beeline them as much as I could. Over the past days I have googled them, searched on Facebook, and LinkedIn and not a single one even seems to feature on the InterWeb.

I have this awful vision of a bunch of desperate housewives, all contentedly living out their quiet existence. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing amiss with that. In fact, I am pretty much that myself, working from home. I just wonder how they will deal with the lesbian, with child and partner.

See, over the years, I have come to realise that you meet people in life, which stick with you. As you get older, it becomes harder to shake them off. They are like comfortable shoes, you slip into these friendships easily, and you love them dearly for making it that easy. They are like a cushion, a comfort zone, a hot chocolate on a cold winter's day. So why excavate memories from teenage years, where in fact you were not at all happy, but rather confused? Why meet these people, that you did not really like all that much back then and with whom you have a rather tenuous connection? Will you like them any better now?

I am hesitant to answer all these questions, and the invitation itself. But an answer is requested...

Random reflections on the Barajas disaster


Yesterday morning we flew into and out of Madrid Barajas on that precise runway. I remember reflecting at the time on the line of taxis past the fence and on how close they were to the runway. I also thought that our runway was really far from the airport terminal itself.

This evening I have seen rows of ambulances lined along that same fence in press photos. Helicopters had to be called in to extinguish this flying fire bomb. A handful of survivors is left to tell the tale and pick up the thread of the rest of their lives.

I always marvel that a metal bird, which doesn't actually physically move like a bird, can remain in the air. My brother-in-law, who designs airplanes for a living, always laughs at me when I make this comment.

My SO always makes me book seats near the emergency exits. The survivors are said to have been in rows 14 and 17... near the emergency exits.

Poor survivors, poor dead, and poor relatives left behind.

Holiday: a photo essay


Back from vacation. Rather than bore you with endless descriptions, here are a few of my impressions garnished with some comments.

Yes, one does need an SUV to deal with heffalumps like these that crawl across the road and hog the left lane. You just know that a Smart car would be tantamount to suicide next to that.

Boston, North End, workers. NYC cancelled due to the kidney stone of my SO.

Boston, North End, New England Aquarium: sharks, turtles, seahorses, starfish, lobstahs, horseshoe crabs, harbor seals, you name it... Munchkin and cousin lapped it up greedily,although they had already dug clams, touched a horseshoe crab and chased hermit crabs the day before on the beach.

I have always enjoyed flying a kite. My dragon for this trip.

Eastham. A hidden beach. Coincidentally also the beach where my brother-in-law got married last Sunday, up to his knees in the water. Great day.

Queen Anne's lace. Brewster, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

Orleans. The sunset in our backyard.

Our backyard reflected in my "fly" glasses.

Edward Hopper's house in Truro. Some idiot real estate king is putting up a Macmansion on the dunes, killing the most famous sweeping landscape of Cape Cod.

The church near Snow cemetery in Truro.
A storm just weathered. Provincetown. MacMillan Wharf.

Return to Madrid Barajas airport. I found myself sitting next to a young Italian on the plane, decked out in a Harley D. jacket wearing a T-shirt reading "I heart lesbians". Little did the young man know that he was sitting next to two, and that the Italian couple behind us were also lesbians (of the not so child-friendly variety). All in all very funny.

Conclusion: favourite moment of the whole vacation is our sunset glass of wine with our friends M. and S. and their daughter on the sandflats at Skaket Beach in Orleans. Thanks, girls, for making this the highlight of our visit and for offering to marry us there and then.

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